'Doog girndi'. Using experimental archaeology to understand the archaeobotanical record: an investigation of mid-Holocene Vitex glabrata fruit processing in Gooniyandi Country, northwest Australia

India Dilkes-Hall, June Davis, Helen Malo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The most common macrobotanical type recovered from archaeological sites in the southern Kimberley of northwestern Australia are remains of Vitex glabrata R. Br. (Lamiaceae). Vitex glabrata is a large woody fruiting tree endemic to Australia’s tropical north that produces sweet, fleshy drupaceous fruits. Fruit production of this species is restricted to wet season months (December–February) when fruits are produced in great abundance. Ethnobotanical records for the region document processing of surplus fruits by Aboriginal people but these records lack details of the steps involved in the postharvest processing sequence and its by-products. To gain a deeper understanding of the economic use of V. glabrata and to help interpret fruit processing in archaeobotanical archives, ethnobotanical survey and experimental studies were conducted with Gooniyandi traditional owners. Experimental materials were compared with archaeological specimens recovered from Riwi, an archaeological site located on Gooniyandi ancestral lands. We conclude that fruit processing using techniques similar to those used today is clearly discernible in Riwi’s Holocene record documenting a 7,000 year old tradition of fruit processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-16
Number of pages13
JournalThe Artefact
Volume42
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of ''<i>Doog girndi</i>'. Using experimental archaeology to understand the archaeobotanical record: an investigation of mid-Holocene <i>Vitex glabrata</i> fruit processing in Gooniyandi Country, northwest Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this